Michael Earp is a non-binary writer and bookseller living in Naarm. They are the editor of four anthologies Everything Under the MoonKindred, Out-Side, including co-editing Avast! Pirate Stories From Transgender Authors with Alison Evans. Their writing has also appeared in ArcherThe AgePopMattersThe Victorian Writer and Aurealis.

Michael Earp is a non-binary writer and bookseller living in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia), the editor of Everything Under the Moon: Fairy tales in a queerer lightKindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories, Out-Side: Queer Words and Art from Regional Victoria and co-edited Avast! Pirate Stories From Transgender Authors with Alison Evans. They have a teaching degree and a Masters in children’s literature and have worked between bookselling and publishing for over twenty years as a children’s literature specialist. Their role managing The Little Bookroom saw them named ABA Bookseller of the year. Their writing has also appeared in Archer, The Age, PopMatters, The Victorian Writer, Aurealis as well as the anthologies Borderlands: Riding the Slipstream and Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories.

Michael Earp is a non-binary writer and bookseller living in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia). They are editor of, and contributor to Everything Under the Moon: Fairy tales in a queerer lightKindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories, Out-Side: Queer Words and Art from Regional Victoria and co-edited Avast! Pirate Stories From Transgender Authors with Alison Evans. Their writing has also appeared in Archer, The Age, PopMatters, The Victorian Writer, Aurealis as well as the anthologies Borderlands: Riding the Slipstream and Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories . For over twenty years they have worked between bookselling and publishing as a children’s and young adult specialist. Their role managing The Little Bookroom, the world’s oldest children’s bookstore saw them named ABA Bookseller of the year. A passionate advocate for LGBTQIA+ literature for young people, they established the #AusQueerYA Tumblr to catalogue all Australian young adult fiction containing queer content and characters. Representation of all people in the literature available to readers of all ages is the ethos that motivates their entire career. They have a Masters in Children’s Literature and a Teaching degree and previously served as committee chair for the #LoveOzYA campaign. Tea is the source of all their power.

My story

I’m a writer and bookseller of children’s and young adult books living and working in Naarm on the lands of the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people of the Kulin Nations. I recognise that Aboriginal sovereignty has never been ceded and pay respect to Elders past, present & emerging. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

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I am the editor of Avast! Pirate Stories From Transgender Authors (Fremantle, June 2024), Out-Side: Queer Words and Art from Regional Victoria (Q-Lit, 2024), Everything Under the Moon: Fairy tales in a queerer light (Affirm Press, 2023), Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stroies (Walker Books, 2019) as well as contributor to Borderlands: Riding the Slipstream (Ford St, June 2024) and  Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories (Black Inc/Underdog Books, 2019).

My writing has appeared in Archer (twice), The AgePopMattersThe SMH, The Victorian Writer, Aurealis and Concrete Queers.

 

I’m repped by Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary Agency.

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After growing up on the lands of the Darkinjung people on NSW’s Central Coast, I moved to Gadigal land in Sydney soon after I was eighteen. That year, one of my dearest friends had gifted me a copy of Shaun Tan’s The Red Tree and it blew my mind! Not only was it right book/right time (I needed that book) but it also opened my eyes to what can be achieved through “children’s books”.

I managed to land a job at Kinokuniya, a large city bookstore just as it was opening. My book addiction began in earnest. Eventually, I found my way to Borders in Pitt Street Mall and before long I was put in charge of their kid’s section as the Children’s Specialist.

I studied some stuff along the way, too. I did fashion design for a year, before realising that the industry wasn’t for me, then I dabbled in graphic design. I went into Early Childhood Teaching through the Institute of Early Childhood at Macquarie University with the objective to learn about children so I could write about and for them. I’d told myself I’d at least have a career when I was done, and not be a penniless writer, as may have been the case with a writing degree. Turns out I didn’t think teaching was for me, either, so I never worked in that sector, but I respect it greatly. I received 1st Class Honours by submitting a picture book and an exegesis investigating the process through which it was constructed.

In 2009, after seven years of bookselling, I began working as a sales and marketing representative for Walker Books Australia, selling books to bookshops. In 2012, I was invited by Walker to move to Naarm to take up the position of Melbourne sales and marketing rep. I was nervous about moving to a city where I’d only briefly visited and only knew two people but arriving in this UNESCO City of Literature felt like coming home. I was awarded the Australian Booksellers Association Victorian Rep of the Year twice, which really cemented how much I belonged there.

I completed a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature through Macquarie University in 2014, receiving the Vice Chancellors Award for Academic Excellence. This time for my thesis I submitted Young Adult novel and an exegesis on its position in the Australian literary landscape.

In 2016 I ‘jumped the counter’ again, and for a while, I was the manager of the delightful children’s bookshop, The Younger Sun, in Yarraville. In 2018 to The Little Bookroom, the oldest Children’s Bookshop in the world, and became its manager, buyer, and education consultant. In 2021, I was recognised as the Australian Booksellers’ Association’s Bookseller of the Year, something I’m especially proud of.

At the end of 2022, a new challenge presented itself. I jumped the counter again and joined the newly formed sales team of Affirm Press. This was the first time since my job at Kinokuniya, twenty years prior, that I’ve had to concern myself with books for grown-ups! It’s great getting out there and seeing what Victorian and Tasmanian bookstores have to offer.

Along the way, I also created #AusQueerYA to catalogue all the YA titles by Australian authors with LGBTQIA+ content.

I’ve been invited to speak at many different festivals and conferences over the years, and I am available to be booked for speaking on anything surrounding children’s and YA literature from the process of writing, publishing and bookselling, to queer literature and everything in between. Just contact me

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Here are a few interviews I’ve done about my career generally:

The Better Words Podcast

Portable Magic Video Podcast

I’ve linked to book-specific interviews on each book’s page.